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Large Bloated Stomach
11-06-2015, 04:21 PM,
Large Bloated Stomach
General Info:
Name: Cortana
Breed: Border Collie Mix of some sort (rescue from a shelter)
Sex: Female - Spayed
Age: Somewhere around 6+
Outdoor only dog (she refuses to be inside for more than 1 minute before trying to dig out the side door)

Oct 22 - Left for a mini Vacation
Oct 25 - Arrived home to see our dog Cortana looked like she swallowed a beach ball. She has a huge swollen belly. She acted just fine, like nothing was wrong. Eating normally, playing, you could touch and push on her stomach with no issues, and she even still jumps the back fence (about 3.5 ft tall), and runs down the lane when a car comes. We took her to the local Emergency Veterinary clinic where they ran tests. After 6 hours we came home with no answers. 

What we *know*
She has severe fluid buildup in her abdomen or maybe not. We are getting mixed answers here. it seems there is fluid in her abdomen, but not a ton, and her stomach seems more swollen, but the other vet said it was all fluid...

It it swollen at least 2-3 times normal size. They have no idea what is going on. They told us $2300 on top of the Emerg bill to drain the fluid, but it won't do anything. It will just build back up until they know what is going on. They told us examining the fluid may not give us an answer either. They took a small sample and it is mostly fluid with just small amounts of blood. Her vitals are good, she is stable, and doesn't seem to be in any pain.   Her BP is slightly elevated, but that could be due to lots of bloodwork etc. her heart sounds good with no murmur. They said they could run an additional 2 tests, but they may come back inconclusive and they would be much more expensive than a regular vet. There really isn't much more they can do there without an additional $500 to $2300 which she said would be cheaper at a regular vet office. So, hubby brought her home to be comfortable until we can get her into a regular vet.  
She is an outdoor only dog, fully vaccinated, and tested negative for heart worm. Blood work came back with no cancerous cells, glucose fine, breathing rate fine, protein a little low but fine., X-ray didn't show anything (but it wasn't a lateral??)

We then planned a visit to her regular vet (who was on vacation then moved her appointment to yesterday). We went in and they drew 4 vials of blood and did a physical and work up on her. They called back today to tell us that all blood work and tests came back normal.

They (3 vets) have ruled out poisoning, anything with her heart, and liver shunt. 

They want us to bring her back in for another few vials of blood and fasting to do a bile test, draw blood, have her sit, feed her a fatty meal, then do another blood draw. But they honestly don't know that it will tell us anything new and will cost several hundred dollars. 

I'm to the point that I don't know what to do. She is fine. She is in no pain, acts like herself, playful, jumping the fence, etc just looks like she swallowed an inflated beach ball. We are considering just keeping her home and waiting to see what happens. I don't want her constantly poked and prodded to have no answers, but I want her to get better too. For a day after coming home from the vet she isn't herself for a while and hides from us. Then once she realized all is ok, she is her normal self again. 

Ideas? What should we have them look at/for? Should we find yet a 4th vet? Anything here would be appreciated. 

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11-07-2015, 01:47 AM,
RE: Large Bloated Stomach
(11-07-2015, 01:40 AM)Daisy Wrote: This really sounds like a medical mystery, especially since you mention she is acting pretty much normally after several days of showing these symptoms.. Can you think of anything that could have happened in your absence? Could your dog have ingested something? X-rays can often reveal presence of  items that can cause a blockage but many things may not show up in an x-rays.  Did you inspect the yard to see if there is anything chewed up, any way that should could have hurt herself, could she have eaten something, anything missing? Has she been having regular bowel movements? Any presence of blood in the stools or urine?
This may warrant an ultrasound if that wasn't done already, preferably done by a radiologist. Even though you have done x-rays, if there's fluid buildup that can bloc the view of internal organs. A visit to an internal medicine specialist may not be a bad idea, if the vets seem not sure of what may be going on.

11-09-2015, 01:00 AM,
RE: Large Bloated Stomach
I don't really know what to add as it sounds like your vet has run lots of testing already, but agree that when the regular vets don't seem to have a solution, it may be time to see a specialist. I am very surprised that your dog has a bloated stomach as such and yet acts just fine despite that. Will keep your sweet Cortana in my thoughts. Keep us posted.

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